Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekly Photography Challenge: 'B' - Bald Eagle

So how did you spend your Saturday morning?  Sleeping in?  Family breakfast?  We chose to spend this Saturday morning getting up before sunrise and trekking across Custer State Park in the South Dakota Black Hills to Wind Cave National Park (I know - crazy, huh?!)  We have been seeing a lot of bald eagles this winter and were hoping to catch that 'prize shot' that we all dream of!  Well, there wasn't the opportunity for that once-in-a-lifetime shot, but we did get to spend a great morning photographing bald eagles, elk, buffalo, antelope, and talking to fellow photographers. 

This bald eagle is probably one of the most photographed bald eagles in the Black Hills.  From his injured left talon to his scarred up beak, he is easily recognizable.  The trek Saturday morning involved a conversation with another local photographer in the area.  (Of course, both of us stopping to take photographs, even though the eagle was in a tough position tangled in branches on a dead tree.)  One of the theories floating around is that this eagle was injured and nursed back to health by humans, thereby allowing him to be tolerant of human interaction.  We are not sure about this story, but his grandeur is so overbearing that he easily stands out among the branches. 

The point we would like to get across in this week's photography challenge is that not every photograph you take will be spectacular, but learn from each time you have the camera out.  Learn about your subjects - their habits, their quirks, and their habitat (this goes for humans just as much as it does for wildlife.)  Learn about your camera - put it in manual setting, try changing to manual focus, or experiment with aperture settings.  It will help you set up that once-in-a-lifetime shot, that is exactly that - once in a lifetime!  But for this week, we'll settle for the goosebumps that crawled on our skin as we had the opportunity to photograph the national bird. 

Next week's photography challenge is the letter 'C'.  We've already started thinking about what to do to get out of our 'photographic box' for next week's challenge.  Will it be cheese, a church, or maybe something cotton?  Maybe Chelsea or Chad?

Don't forget that if you want to share your photographs from your weekly challenge with the letter 'B', just include the link to your web gallery in the comments box below.  We hope you enjoy, and See You Behind the Lens... 

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